MANDATORY MASS VACCINATION HAS NO BASIS IN LAW, LOGIC, ETHICS, OR SCIENCE
The Nigeria COVID Response Alliance is a coalition of over 70 CSOs and faith-based NGOs formed to monitor the official response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria; and ensure that the response remains within the ambit of fundamental human and religious rights.
The Alliance arose spontaneously last year in the heat of efforts to introduce legislation that was clearly overreaching the purported purpose of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. That led to our submitting a Memorandum to the June 10-11 2020 Public Hearing at the House of Representatives, as well as a Press Statement (May 15, 2020) on the subject. For the avoidance of any doubt, our Alliance is an entirely Nigerian initiative, and we are not under the patronage of any political, religious, or foreign entity. Similarly, our position is not to condemn or question any decision freely taken by private individuals, but rather to ensure that the fundamental right to do so is not lightly infringed upon by overzealous and ill-informed agents of the government.
First, we would like to draw attention to the huge distinction between three often mixed-up concepts: Vaccination, Mass Vaccination, and Mandatory Mass Vaccination. We recognize and hold that vaccines, just like any other medical product, can be beneficial to some vulnerable group of individuals. [Even drugs that are recognized and duly labelled as pure poison – for example, in chemotherapy – could still be life-savers in certain conditions!]. We certainly do not have a beef with vaccines. Mass Vaccination, however, requires large population groups with different physiological constitutions and widely varying health statuses to receive the same medical product, generally under the same conditions. Not only will this considerably affect the efficacy of the product, but the practice will also be rife with serious safety issues, especially where there are no adequate medical infrastructure and system in place to respond to the inevitable emergencies. While our Alliance frowns severely at Mass Vaccination, it is the concept of Mandatory Mass Vaccination that we find absolutely intolerable. We consider it pure evil, to compel everybody to irreversibly receive a particular medical product at the penalty of literally being declared persona non-grata in their own native community! We believe that such a move should be resisted, using all available peaceful means.
2.0. Unprecedented Moves towards Mandatory Mass Vaccination in Nigeria
This Statement is released specifically in response to the pronouncements by the governments of Edo and Ondo States, that from mid-September, people might not be allowed to public places, including hospitals and banks as well as worship centres, without showing proof of vaccination. Similarly, the Federal Government, through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has declared that “the Federal Government shall, very shortly,” be requiring “every employee in its service” to be compulsorily jabbed with the COVID-19 experimental vaccines.
We consider these statements an exceedingly outrageous, insensitive, and excessive response to the COVID-19 situation. The statements have no basis in law, logic, ethics, or science; and we hereby call for their immediate retraction. This call is based on the following fundamental and incontrovertible premises:
1) ethics of mandating a no-liability experimental medical product,
2) issue of effectiveness and duration of efficacy,
3) the critical issue of safety, and
4) the nagging question of motives and ultimate long-term consequences, even beyond health.